Tag Archives: Mike McGlinchey

Duke-football

BDN Football Friday: Spring update, to ease the pain

Duke hosted Mallard Creek WR Marquez North earlier this spring

It has been suggested that writing a spring update on Duke Football might help make the nightmares about mountain hawks go away, so here it is. In fact, there’s actually a lot to be excited about with regards to Duke Football. Yeah, yeah, we always say that and then we’re all disappointed come the fall. But you’ve got to see the forest instead of the trees, people!

Recruiting off to a hot start

Ok, show of hands. How many of you just went and checked the Duke 2013 commitment list when you read that sub-headline? Or, another way of asking the same question, how many of you have been following Duke Football recruiting during basketball season? Well, either way, you’ve probably figured out that Duke has yet to secure a verbal commitment in the class of 2013. (Saturday afternoon edit: Duke landed a commitment from QB Quay Chambers and OL Austin Davis this morning)

So, how can recruiting be off to a hot start? Generally speaking, you’ve got to get a prospect on campus if you have any hope of landing a commitment, and Coach Cutcliffe and his staff have hosted an impressive list of visitors already this spring. In fact, Duke has already had more than 10 members of the ESPNU150 Watch List (an unofficial list of the top 300 HS rising seniors in the country) on campus in Durham. Most recently, the Blue Devils had 9 top targets in the class of 2013 on campus for the North Carolina basketball game, including Watch List members WR Marquez North, LB Peter Kalambayi, OL Mike McGlinchey, and OL Tyrone Crowder. The coaching staff has been in contact early and often with a number of other Watch List members, including several on the West Coast, and hope to host several more visitors later this spring and summer. As you know, we’ll continue to bring you the best coverage of Duke Football and Duke Football Recruiting around.

Duke WR Conner Vernon scores his 1st of 2 TDs against Tulane last year -BDN Photo

Spring practice highly competitive

The Blue Devils returned to the field this past week to start the second half of their spring practice, and the competition level has been at its highest in the Cutcliffe era. We checked in with WR Conner Vernon earlier this week, and he confirmed that across the board, Duke is a deeper and more competitive team. The Blue Devils return 17 starters this fall, but each of those players will be pushed by younger players on the depth chart. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

The Duke defense loses two of its leaders to graduation in S Matt Daniels and NG Charlie Hatcher, but there is real competition to fill their starting job. At safety, Walt Canty, Jordon Byas, and August Campbell will be projected to start heading into the fall, but they are being pushed everyday in practice by newcomer Jeremy Cash, former WR Brandon Braxton, and youngsters such as Chris Tavarez and Britton Grier. Also, it can’t be ruled out that Issac Blakeney won’t see some time on defense, as he has established himself as one of the team’s best pass-rushers last spring from the safety position. To fill Hatcher’s void up front, the Blue Devils have Jamal Bruce, along with two 300-pound players in Will Bryant (recently returned from injury) and Steven Ingram. To put it in March Madness terms, I wouldn’t “go Sharpie” on anyone’s starting job quite yet.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Blue Devils have struggled in the red zone in recent years. The coaching staff has utilized an option style attack with Brandon Connette or Anthony Boone under center. Fans and media alike have questioned the success of this approach, as it seemed to lack creativity and often stalled drives. This year, however, it appears that won’t be the case. Coach Cutcliffe has used the “best 22 players” mantra as a focus for this offseason, and the quarterback position has been one of the most impacted. With three players with significant game experience under center in Sean Renfree, Connette, and Boone, Duke is looking at ways to put all of their weapons on the field, especially in red zone situations. Based on early returns from this spring, both Boone and Connette will not only be used under center, but also at tailback and tight end. As two of the better athletes on the roster, these alignments, if nothing else, should have fans excited for the fall.

Kenny Anunike granted 6th year of eligibility

This is big-time news. Duke defensive end Kenny Anunike has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.  Based on the ruling, he is eligible to participate in the 2012 and 2013 football seasons.

A 6-5, 250-pound native Galena, Ohio, Anunike appeared in four games last fall before suffering a season-ending knee injury against Tulane. Prior to the injury, he was leading the ACC in quarterback sacks (4.0) and was credited with 13 total tackles including five for loss on the year.  Anunike has not participated in spring drills while recovering from knee surgery performed last fall.

Anunike also missed the 2008 season while recovering from knee surgery.  He played in all 12 games in 2009 as a reserve tight end before shifting to the defensive line, where he registered 23 tackles in 12 games during the 2010 campaign.

Kelby Brown undergoes 2nd ACL repair

Duke rising junior Kelby Brown underwent his 2nd ACL repair on February 22, putting his health for the 2012 season into question. The revision surgery was performed on Wednesday by Dr. Claude T. Moorman III, Duke’s head team physician and the director of Duke Sports Medicine.  Brown originally injured the knee on November 20, 2010 against Georgia Tech, and underwent surgery weeks later.  He re-injured the knee earlier in February 2012.

A 6-2, 220-pound native of Matthews, N.C., Brown has played in 19 games with 17 starting assignments over the past two years.  Last year, he led Duke in tackles for loss (7.0) while posting 65 total stops and received the program’s Mike Curtis Award as Duke’s most outstanding linebacker.

Brown’s career totals include 128 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, four fumble recoveries, one caused fumble, three pass breakups and seven quarterback pressures.  In addition, he is a two-time selection to the Academic All-ACC squad.

Should Kelby not be available to play this fall, he does have a redshirt year available, and would therefore still have two years of eligibility remaining. It should also be noted that WR Conner Vernon pointed to Kelby’s younger (but bigger) brother, Kyler, as one of the young Blue Devils who has been most impressive this spring.

Preferred walk-on program thriving

Ok, so I don’t leave you in Negative Town, let’s talk about another bright spot for the Duke Football program. Since Coach Cutcliffe’s arrival, he has built the walk-on program at Duke into an asset for Duke Football. First, allow me to give you some perspective.

A 5’10” 165 pound, slow-footed freshman from upstate New York enrolled at Duke a few (I mean several – ok, fine, it was over a decade) years ago, and within his welcome packet to the university, he received a letter inviting him to walk on to the football team. While I did not elect to subject my body to the punishment of collegiate football, I imagine several other equally qualified freshmen received similar letters back then, and some probably did. Flash forward to 2012, and Duke Football secures a commitment from one of the top 10 long snappers in the nation…as a preferred walk-on.

Slightly different use of the walk-on program, eh? Last week’s commitment from Thomas Hennessy was just the latest among several preferred walk-ons for the program. When Coach Cutcliffe arrived in Durham, he had one quarterback to get through spring practice. This year, he has seven, including two preferred walk-ons. That’s seven QBs to practice snaps under center, seven QBs to practice handoffs to RBs, seven QBs to practice routes with WRs, and seven QBs for defenders to pass rush. Across the board, the walk-ons that Coach Cutcliffe have brought in have improved the program by allowing for more reps and more productive practices. While many of these preferred walk-ons may not make a significant individual contribution to the box score, they make their teammates better everyday in practice.

Sweet, I knew I could make it through an article without mentioning Peyton Manning (he’s been working out at Duke, in case you’ve been living under a rock). So, I haven’t forgotten about Football Friday, but my schedule simply doesn’t allow me to commit the time needed to it. But I’ll make a deal with you, since we’re all feeling down today. This won’t be the last football update you read this spring. We’ll keep it coming, as time allows. And also, we’ll have lots of prospect interviews and several updates from current players and coaches as we head towards the spring game – March 31, Wallace Wade Stadium, 1:00 PM ET. Be there. I’ll be looking for you.

WE ARE DUKE.

6'9" Mike McGlinchey is one of the top OT prospects in the country

Elite 2013 OT Mike McGlinchey comes away impressed by Duke visit

6'9" Mike McGlinchey is one of the top OT prospects in the country

As the Duke Football coaching staff works to improve the 2012 Blue Devils on the field this spring, they’re also looking forward to the 2013 recruiting class. Already this spring, several top 2013 prospects have toured the Duke campus and football facilities. This past weekend, Duke welcomed 9 top prospects to Durham, headlined by one of the top offensive line prospects in the country. Mike McGlinchey is a 6’9″ 275 pound offensive tackle prospect from the William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia. His combination of strength and size has placed him squarely at the top of new OL Coach John Latina’s recruiting board. Having coached several NFL linemen during his tenures at Notre Dame, Ole Miss, and Clemson, Coach Latina now looks to continue his success with the Blue Devils in Durham. McGlinchey is exactly the type of prospect with the skills to succeed at Duke, both on and off the field. With 20 scholarship offers, however, the big lineman will have his choice of schools; the Blue Devils are among those who have made a good early impression. [private]

BDN: How would you describe your strengths as a player?

I’m getting recruited to play offensive tackle and I guess they like me because of my length and my size and stuff like that. Also, as a player, I’m very physically sound, I have fast, quick feet and I like to finish blocks. It’s a good combination, I guess, for college coaches to look at.

BDN: What are you working on this offseason as you prepare for your senior year?

Just to keep getting stronger as a whole, physically, and being able to move faster and have better feet. I’m just trying to work out on every aspect of my game.

BDN: As you approach your college decision, what are the most important things you are looking for in a school?

I’m looking for a school that has a bunch of great people there. I’m looking for a school that is a great school in itself. I’m looking for a program that is going to be a solid program and help me grow as a player, and somewhere that I know that I’ll fit in and have success.

BDN: Where do you stand with offers and visits now?

I’m at 20 offers now, I’m trying to narrow it down. I’m planning on taking about 3 or 4 more visits and then I’ll probably make a decision after that. I’m really excited about all of the opportunities that I have and I can’t wait to see all of the other schools that I’m going to visit.

BDN: Which schools have you had a chance to visit?

I’ve visited Maryland, Virginia, Rutgers, and Boston College so far. And I visited Duke yesterday. I liked all the schools and it’s going to be hard to narrow one down to see what one is right for me.

BDN: Do you know which 3 or 4 schools you definitely plan to visit this spring?

I think I’m going to visit Penn State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and maybe one other school, I’m not sure. Those are the 3 I’m definitely going to visit.

BDN: Can you talk a little bit more about your visit to Duke yesterday?

Duke was awesome yesterday. I loved it there. It was a great experience, obviously, they took us to see the Carolina basketball game and the atmosphere was unbelievable. I really enjoyed the experience and I got to know the coaching staff and I liked them a lot. It’s a great place down there and I’m really excited about the opportunity to have them recruiting me.

BDN: How did your visit to the other schools like Virginia, Maryland, and Boston College go?

They all went well as well. Like I said, it’s going to be tough because everywhere you go you like seeing. I’m just going to have to make a list and think about it pretty long and hard about which school is going to be the best spot for me.

BDN: You mentioned that you plan to take a few more visits and then make your decision. Do you have a date in mind for when you plan to narrow things down or make your final decision?

I think I’m going to make a decision by the end of the school year, if not then, then by a couple months later, if needed. I want to get it done before my senior football season.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Mike, and best of luck.

Alright, thank you so much.

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